Hanover Trail Towns

Hanover Trail Towns

New Paths of Opportunity

Trail Towns programs use an integrated and asset-based, economic development approach that considers each town’s existing resources, it’s character and local businesses to develop a memorable and inviting trail experience for users including residents and out of town visitors alike.

York County Economic Alliance launched the “Trail Towns Program”, to leverage the York Heritage Rail Trail as a platform and driver for economic development in towns located along or near the popular multi-use trail. Partnering with the York County Department of Parks, the York County Rail Trail Authority, Explore York, and our municipal partners, the Trail Towns Program is a collaborative process with outreach to local governments, residents and business owners in order for each town to reach its potential as a vibrant hub for trail users.

Improving the local economy by attracting more visitors is a key focus for the Trail Towns effort in Hanover, but the benefits of the Trail Towns model is also beneficial to residents. Providing more recreation opportunities for residents through a better connection from downtown to the Hanover Trolley Trail, additional bicycle and pedestrian routes through town, improved park facilities and better connections to Codorus State Park or Long Arm Reservoir will benefit the physical and mental health of residents. As the most recent Community Health Needs Assessment by UPMC highlights, obesity is increasing in York County. Bicycling and walking can help reduce obesity, and walking has shown to reduce the risk of serious medical conditions such as heart disease (source: UAB Medicine).

About Hanover


The Borough of Hanover is located in western York County on the Adams County border with a population of 16,429. Downtown Hanover is anchored by Center Square, where four regional arterial streets – Broadway, Frederick St., Carlisle St., and Baltimore St. meet; a fifth, York St., is just a block away. Downtown retains a strong commercial stock and sense of place with an influx of 6 new businesses like microbreweries and new housing as evident by historic building renovations at the former Hanover Shoes factory and former Hotel Richard McAllister.

Hanover also has a rich history as a farming market center, an industrial center, and a role in the Gettysburg Campaign. Hanover’s proximity to Gettysburg and the main battlefield, located just 16 miles to the west, also provide it with access to the nearly 1 million annual visitors to national park at Gettysburg and represents a significant tourism marketing opportunity.


Hanover Outdoors

In addition to its’ history, Hanover has several outdoor recreation assets within it and nearby. These include:

Hanover Trolley Trail

The Hanover Trolley Trail (HTT) will eventually connect Hanover with York. Currently, there is a 1.5-mile off-road section from Moul Field in the borough, into Penn Township, and an approximately 1 mile on-road section from Moul Field into downtown. The York County Rail Trail Authority has recently purchase nearly 8.5 miles of an unused rail line and is currently in final design and engineering for 3 additional sections which will extend the HTT an additional 4.25 miles to Menges Mill village near Spring Grove, and two other sections east of Spring Grove. These new sections are anticipated to be opened within a few years.

Long Arm Reservoir

Located about 3.5 miles from downtown Hanover, the reservoir provides kayaking, fishing, and canoeing opportunities.

State Bicycle Route JS

This PA Department of Transportation-designated route is an east-west connector to connect Bicycle Routes J and S; it runs from Gettysburg to Hanover Junction. In Hanover, it runs on York St to Broadway to Frederick St., it also goes thru Codorus State Park on its way to Hanover Junction.

Codorus State Park

This 3,500-acre park lies just 3 miles from downtown Hanover, and includes camping, boating, fishing, swimming, birdwatching, hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, winter sports and disc golf (site of the 2017 Amateur World Championship).

In addition, a feasibility study has been performed to connect Hanover with Gettysburg via an on- and off-road trail; and the York County Economic Alliance has recently released a Request for Proposals to improve the on-road connection between Moul Field and downtown.

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